Teacher charged with arson in connection with fire at Graham High School arrested

GRAHAM, N.C. — Police have arrested a 28-year-old teacher in connection with a fire at Graham High School last Wednesday.

On Monday, Michael Patrick Shannon, 28, of 3551 Forestdale Drive, Burlington, was charged in connection with a fire that broke out in the auditorium/theater area at Graham High School on Feb. 19.

Shannon was arrested in Mecklenburg County at 7:35 p.m. by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, according to the Burlington Times-News.

He was released Tuesday morning on a bond of $25,000.

Shannon was employed with the Alamance-Burlington School System at the time of the incident. He is listed on the school system’s website as the Theatre Arts Instructor at Graham High School.

g2Shannon is charged with one felony count of burning a school and one felony count of common law obstruction of justice.

The fire broke out at Graham High School shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday. Alamance County Fire Marshall David Leonard said the fire was contained to the auditorium.

Captain McGilvray with the Graham Police Department said they will not release a motive at this time, but he did say an “accelerant” was used in the fire.

“We appreciate the prompt response and thorough review of the circumstances at Graham High over the last week by our local fire and law enforcement departments, as well as the assistance provided by the Alamance County Fire Marshal’s office and the SBI,” a representative with Alamance-Burlington Schools said in a statement. “While their work continues, our district focus will remain centered on supporting our Graham High community, students and staff members.”

70 comments

  • Shernell Harrison

    I’m a former student of Mr. Shannon and in no way shape or form can I ever see him doing this. He was one of my favorite teachers and in my opinion some one set him up. He was never anything but kind and sweet to me and if he come out innocent the better let him have his job back!!!!

  • ARN

    Personal character can be a factor in a trial investigation. If he was to be found guilty it could definitely help his chances when coming to sentencing.

    To all the people who really care about Mr. Shannon. Don’t let hate mongers affect you. We are confident in our belief. And if the justice system proves us wrong, I for one, will still stand by his side. There are students who are alive today because of this man. I doubt any of the hate mongers can point to their lives with such a legacy.

    • Will Grant

      “alive because of this man” oh, brother

      That is complete hogwash, “ARN”

      “Hatemongers” … learn this now, boy…hate is not always a bad thing.

  • Ace Boogie

    I am a member of the GHS community. Now I never met the man personally, but Cops won’t arrest somebody on a wim w/o any proper motive (be it money or evidence.) I find it hard to believe, they are being bribed to arrest a theater director. So there has to be a reason he is being arrested. Judging by the writing that has been written, people need to stop texting in English Class, and start actually doing some work. Now the guy may be innocent, or he may be as guilty as a sin, but unless anyone has proof of the endeavors, don’t say he is innocent or guilty. Also, Police cannot give evidence information, while an investigation is taking place, or is on trial. It would be an obstruction of justice. Reporters twist facts all the time to get a good story, I would not trust anything that is stated in news reports.

  • Willie Long

    He was inside the school at the time of the fire! He was seen on video inside the school with the alarm strobe light going off! The audible alarm was also going off at the same time! When he was imformed of this evidence, he lied to investigators! THATS A FACT! He was in the school with students undert his supervision, with an alarm going off and never alerted the proper authorites. WHY? Seems odd! Give me your excuse as to why he didn’t do it again!

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